If you have been injured severely in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be confined to bed and under medical treatment. This means you can’t work, and hence lose earnings.
Luckily, North Carolina law gives victims the right to seek reimbursement for lost wages so that they are compensated adequately. However, the nature of your employment and scope of injuries will affect what evidence you need to provide and how difficult it will be to support your claim. And that’s why it is essential to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in North Carolina who can help you navigate through the process and fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve.
Apart from hiring legal assistance, a good read-through of the following will provide you with the introductory information that you need to understand what it takes to prove lost wages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Evidence to Support Your Lost Wages Claim
After the accident, you must try to be on top of tracking all lost income. This will help you prove your claims. Start by collecting proper documentation. There are many types of documents that you’ll need to prove your claim for lost wages and income. Here’s a quick overview from an employee and entrepreneur standpoint:
Claiming Lost Wage as an Employee
The doctor’s note that writes you out of work
It should appropriately document your inability to work or execute your job duties, and written by the doctor/medical provider that served you. Moreover, the note should be written on their formal medical pad and include dates you are absent from work, treatment dates, the date you sustained injuries, and the projected date for return to work.
Notes from your medical provider will provide insight into the severity of your injuries along with the life changes that the injuries may have caused. This information can impact the final compensation for your claim, as these notes will prove that your injuries prevented you from working.
Notes from the employer proving the wage amount
This is yet another document that is crucial for supporting your claim. It provides the employer’s verification that you missed work. Like the doctor’s note, the employer’s note should be written on the company’s formal letterhead and signed.
The document must include important information like the dates of missed workdays, hours that you were scheduled for work, the money you would have earned had you not missed work, and breakdown of the payment such as hourly/commission, if applied.
Put simply, claiming for lost wages is mostly determined based on how you’re paid (hourly, salary, or commission). Also, depending on the employment, you may be able to claim:
Also, please note that your current pay shall be used as the basis for determining your lost wage compensation when seeking compensation.
These verification notes from the employer will provide the claim adjuster with proof of your base pay and the days missed. However, it is essential to understand that these verification notes don’t necessarily guarantee that the adjuster will accept the amount your employer states as lost wages. Therefore, it makes sense to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in North Carolina who can represent you and advocate against an adjuster making you a low-ball offer.
Similarly, if you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner injured in an accident, you can claim lost income in your personal injury lawsuit. The documents that you will need are as follows:
IRS tax returns and financial reports and statements
Your IRS tax returns, including financial reports and statements for the relevant period, will be crucial to both proving and supporting your lost income claim. It is helpful to have two to three years of tax returns and financial documents for supporting how much money you may have lost because of the injuries.
Proving lost income as a self-employed person may take time and more effort because you will need to provide more evidence to prove your compensation and actual missed workdays. This is because one can’t go to the employer for the necessary information.
In addition to this, entrepreneurs entering contracts frequently should provide lost invoices and contracts. It is also essential to provide contracts and invoices that prove your work schedule, accounts payable and receivable, and letters from customers to prove your claim for income lost due to the injuries sustained.
Contact us for Legal Representation
At the Law Office of Jason E. Taylor P.C., our experienced personal injury lawyer in North Carolina and South Carolina can help you navigate through the process while providing you with quality assistance. We can guide and assist you to have all the relevant and necessary paperwork complete that can prove and support your lost wages claim.
Being experienced in this domain, we know that lost wages are a crucial part of receiving fair compensation, but it is difficult to prove in its entirety. The process of proving the claim is complicated and quite technical as compared to other types of damages. Some victims even omit lost wages from their claim because of its complexity, but you don’t have to do that.
Once you hire us, we will evaluate your claim and determine the best way to fight for maximum compensation for injuries incurred and lost wages. We will go the extra mile to try to help you make a full recovery. Contact us today to discuss your case, and we’ll see if we can assist you accordingly.